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Over the last few months, we’ve all grown accustomed to the new normal of business meetings: video conferencing. Virtual doesn’t necessarily mean casual, though, and it’s important to have a few best practices in mind when running your meetings online. These eight tips will keep your video conferences both seamless and professional:

1. Assign a note taker.

Assigning a note taker during a video conference may feel like you’re treating it as a board meeting, but it certainly shows the audience that you mean business.

2. Make sure the camera is at eye-level.

If you’re working at a dining or coffee table, chances are your camera is filming upwards, which isn’t the most flattering look (sorry!). Use books to elevate your laptop so that people see a more straight-on perspective of you. An elevated camera also prevents you from slouching over your laptop.

3. Check for crisp and clear audio.

Break ups in your audio can damage the perception of your professionalism. Test your connection beforehand, and if it’s not stable, consider using the dial-in option on your phone for audio, while capturing video from your laptop.

4. Declutter your background.

The best background is something natural and clean, like a wall. If you can’t find one, use the custom background capability (if available) on your video conferencing tool.

5. Don’t get too close to the camera.

If you’re too close to the camera, your face and head can be oddly distorted. Placing yourself a bit further away allows people to see your entire upper body, including hand gestures, and naturally makes you project your voice more.

6. Dress for success.

Your appearance should still be professional and reflect the organization you represent. Your attire should be similar to what you’d wear to an in-office meeting. Never wear clothing that blends in with the background, like a white shirt on a white wall.

7. Lighting is key.

The best light is natural light. Position yourself so that you’re facing a window, and it will enhance your look. If the sun is directly on your face, close the blinds halfway to get the glow of natural light without the harshness. Never place a window or light source directly behind you.

8. Perfect your eye contact.

You want to be looking into the camera when you are speaking and at the face of others when it’s their turn. Resist the urge to look at yourself in the smaller frame in the corner of the screen.

Virtual meetings will be a key element of the business world for the long term. Following these tips is just the start – you also need to have the right technologies in place to ensure a smooth, professional video conferencing experience for all parties involved. Access One can provide the voice, data, and managed IT services you need to put your best foot forward in the video conferencing world. Contact us today to learn more.

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